Egypt Watch

Egyptian military extends its economy by seizing right to exploit parking lots and restaurants

The governor of Cairo, General Khaled Abdel Aal, and the governor of Giza, General Ahmed Rashed, approved giving the National Company for Constructing, Developing and Managing Roads, owned by the Egyptian military, a monopoly over car parks in the streets of the two main cities in Egypt. The decision was made by direct command without tenders. The same company has a monopoly over areas underneath bridges, which are rented to shops, cafes and restaurants.

Accordingly, the company will assume the application of law 150 of 2020 regarding the organisation of cars in streets. The law controls sayes (men who takes care of cars in car parks) by determining prices of parking and fees paid to sayes and giving a licence to those who have the right to work and get money. It is expected that the company will sublet spaces to the sayes who had been already working in the lot without a licence. It is said that the private cars will pay EGP 10 for parking, pickup trucks EGP 20, buses EGP 30, and EGP 300 monthly for letting spaces for one day.

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a new law for governmental contracts, which allows contracts between the governmental authorities and institutions without tenders and bids. The law gave exceptional advantage to the companies owned by the Egyptian military. In addition, these military companies enjoy full tax and customs exemption, and employ the obligatory-conscripted members in the military with low wages.

One week ago, Silo Egypt for Food Industries, another company owned by the military, was given the right to supply school meals to the governmental schools all over the country, and the military-owned Queen Service company was given the right to supply school meals to Al-Azhar schools. In the same vein, the International Monetary Fund demanded the Egyptian government reduce the role of the state in the economy to allow private sector-led growth.

“The authorities’ national structural reform plan aims to achieve strong private sector-led growth to create durable employment and improve external resilience,” said the Executive Board of IMF in the second and final review of Egypt’s economic reform programme supported by a 12-month Stand-By Arrangement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This will require sustained efforts to improve resource allocation by reducing the role of the state in the economy, enhancing governance and transparency, improving the business environment, deepening financial markets, and increasing integration into global trade.”